Our apprentices make a bit of history at Ally Pally
I’ll keep saying it – apprenticeship schemes are just so important in our industry. This was brought home to me just a couple of weeks ago when The Royal Parks Guild, of which we are a member, invited us down the iconic Alexandra Palace and Gardens for a special 150 year anniversary celebration.
The building, constructed in 1873 as ‘The People’s Palace’, is surrounded by 196 acres of North London parkland, and offers fantastic views of the city. When you are there, soaking up its Victorian splendour, you’re instantly aware of just what a treasure this place is.
How lucky for me and our team of apprentices that we had the opportunity to play a small part in its ongoing story.
Present at the special commemorative day were Duncan Wilson OBE, Chief Executive of Alexandra Palace, Royal Parks Director Mike Fitt, OBE, as well Chief Executive of the Royal Parks, Linda Lennon CBE.
Mike Fitt started the day off by introducing us to Park Manager Mark Evison, Landscape Architect Duncan Cole, and Gordon Hutchinson from The Friends of Alexandra Palace. This was followed by a tour of the Park and some really interesting presentations about the various infrastructures which help maintain and safeguard the Palace and Gardens.
I was really pleased that the apprentices were able to have a ‘hands-on’ involvement in the occasion. The ceremony led by Duncan, Mike and Linda saw staff at Alexandra Palace, members of The Guild, apprentices from The Royal Parks and Alexandra Park’s grounds maintenance contractor (John O’Conner), and the Friends of Alexandra Park plant a circle of six birch trees which will soon form a small copse for children to play in.
I think it is so important to mark these significant events like this, and I must say I was fascinated to see the interaction between park managers past and present and our own John O’Conner apprentices.
Perhaps, in years to come, when these trees are fully grown, they will watch their own children at play in this area and then think back to the small but special part they played in this magnificent park’s history.
Till next time,